DAYTON, Ohio (CAP) - While most pundits and polling outfits are leaning towards a Barack Obama win on Nov. 4, one source noted for his prognostication skills is backing the race's maverick as the favorite to eek out a victory.
"Conventional wisdom picks Obama. Nostradamus, four and a half centuries ago, picked John McCain," said Dr. Hubert Evans, professor of Renaissance Studies at Yale University and author of the best-selling Nostradamus: Prophesize This!
"Quatrain 78, Century X in particular seems to indicate that Obama had better not be measuring the White House windows for curtains quite yet, at least by my interpretation," said Dr. Evans.
The quatrain to which Dr. Evans refers - Quatrain 78 - is located in the grouping of stanzas known as Century X. Originally published in 1555 in Nostradamus' still-popular Les Prophecies, Quatrain 78 reads in full:
At the war's end
The Feeble Kept-One will strike down the Night
And his Imbecile Queen will rise from the snow
Bedecked in finery and the pelt of a wolf.
While a liberal reading of the quatrain may seem to some to contain hidden, relevant meaning, many scholars label as hogwash the idea that Nostradamus was able to see and predict events that would happen so distantly in the future.
"Whenever current events cough up a notable historic chapter, like on 9-11, the Nostradamus nuts are right there, twisting text to make the prediction meet the event," said renowned skeptic and paranormal debunker Chip Manheim. "Just in terms of comparison, take a look at the next quatrain from Century X, Quatrain 79. This, incidentally, was the last quatrain that Nostradamus ever wrote:
"In five moons, the Feeble Kept-One is no more
And his Imbecile Queen sees the Great Bear
From her backyard, alrighty, and flings giant poison arrows
And the Great Bear responds in kind, and, well, The End.
"What the fuck does that even mean?" an exasperated Manheim asked. "See, you can pull whatever interpretation you want out of your ass and you're good to go. I guarantee there will be a whole new spin on Tuesday if Obama wins, and Nostradamus will look like a genius. Mark my words."
The McCain campaign meanwhile has seized on the endorsement and has been proudly trumpeting it at rallies.
"My friends, Nostradamus believed in us because he knew, knew that Sen. Obama would raise his taxes!" McCain told a rabid Dayton crowd before leading them in a rousing chant of "Nostradamus don't like no Obamas!"
- Rich Gray